The most common reader question I’ve been getting lately is whether I’m still buying gift cards after giftcards.com stopped offering cash back on Visa gift cards. After all, the point of buying them was to earn cash back through Yazing in order to off-set the gift card and shipping fees. After cash back portals stopped offering rewards on Visa gift card purchases, a lot of people gave up on giftcards.com as a gift card source. Not me. I’m still regularly buying MasterCard Gift Cards, since Yazing continues to offer 1.5% cash back on those purchases. If 1.5% cash back doesn’t sound like much, you’re clearly not buying gift cards in large amounts…
MasterCard Gift Cards: The Pros
Right now, giftcards.com allows up to $2,500 worth of Visa gift cards per purchase (including fees). You can place up to two orders per day. I usually buy $2450 (four gift cards for $500 and one for $45). With fees and shipping, the total comes to $2492.20. My out of pocket cost for earning a minimum of $2492 miles is $42.20. Meanwhile, I earn $37.27 cash back from Yazing. That brings my total out of pocket cost to $4.93. Considering buying the same amount of gift cards at a mall will set me back around $20, this is a real bargain.
MasterCard Gift Cards: The Cons
The only negative side to buying MasterCard gift cards instead of Visa is that they’re trickier to liquidate. At Walmart, you can only use MasterCard gift cards on the last swipe. I guess you could buy gift cards $1,000 at a time in order to maximize the number of MasterCards you can liquidate, but most of us are skating on thin ice with the Walmart cashiers. There’s no need to make their jobs more difficult, so I always buy mine in $2,000 transactions. I still save money on liquidation fees and diversify my spending, so it’s all good.
How Much Do You Save?
How much am I saving, exactly? Churning $2,000 worth of Visa gift cards would normally cost $17.56. Working a MasterCard gift card into each transaction brings the cost down to around $14.60. While $3 may not seem like much, on a typical Walmart run that’s a $15 saving. Since I’m now bringing at least two helpers along, that amount is tripled to $45. If I pull of weekly Walmart trips, my savings increase to $180…or roughly $2,160 per year. It definitely pays off to continue buying MasterCard gift cards now that cash back is no longer offered on Visa gift cards.
As usual, you should be aware of the risks associated with manufactured spending and always be prepared in case of a shut down